Jackson, MS – The Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure (MSBML) joins with the Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA) in support of the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) recommendation for all physicians, physician assistants and podiatrists to delay all elective surgery and non-essential invasive procedures during the State of Emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar recommendations have been issued by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS).
Delaying these procedures and visits will help reduce potential exposure to COVID-19 for patients and staff, which is aligned with the current national and state recommendations for social distancing. The CDC’s primary goals during the COVID-19 outbreak include minimizing disease transmission, protecting healthcare personnel and preserving healthcare system functioning. Delaying elective surgery supports these important goals and helps keep patients and healthcare employees safe, which should be our primary objective as we respond to this pandemic. Importantly, this recommendation helps to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE), which minimizes potential exposure to COVID-19 for patients, physicians and other healthcare professionals.
“It’s very important to take every precaution to prevent patients from contracting COVID-19,” said State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs MD, MPH. “These measures will keep Mississippians safe, and they will also preserve critical medical supplies.”
The U. S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, has also advised that hospitals cancel elective surgeries in an effort to decrease the risk of spread of coronavirus within a medical center, protect hospital beds in case of a surge of coronavirus cases, decrease use of protective medical gear and decrease risk to a hospital workforce who may be needed to respond to COVID-19.
As leaders in our communities and especially as leaders in health care, physicians need to set an example for all to follow. Only by working together will we be able to do our part to flatten the curve of this pandemic.